Here is a band that is tearing up the east coast with their alt-hard rock fused brand of music. Playing it from within and with plenty of energy, anger and no influence on what the scene is calling for in terms of “what’s hot” in today’s mainstream.
Spider Rockets are preparing to tour in support of their infectiously catchy new album, “Ever After” and I was recently given the opportunity to throw a few questions at vocalist Helena Cos.
First off, give us a brief history on how the Spider Rockets came to be.
Johnny and I started the band in the 90s. It started out as the two of us playing every dive bar in Jersey with midi backup for our rhythm section.
Where did you come up with the name?
Johnny did—we started with Spider Monkeys but the name was taken—plus we heard stories about how spider monkeys throw their feces at people….. So we adjusted—and we changed the band name to Spider Rockets. Why rockets? It sounded right to us.
Tell us about the new album, ‘Ever After’.
On this CD we got a bit more melodic, but went a bit further with the dark vibe we’ve always had. To me ‘Ever After’ has a background darkness to it. Kind of a haunting quality and sense of the gothic.
How would you say it compares or differs from previous releases?
The vocals were kinda buried on our past LP—mixed in with the rest of the instruments. This time, we put the vocals out front. Also, our songwriting has evolved quite bit.
How about lyrically? What sort of subjects/topics are Spider Rockets ranting about?
In a very general sense some topics are deception, blame, obsession and conflict. And those are just to get us warmed up.
Now musically there are several influences that shine through from time to time. Where do you pull your sound from?
I guess you can say Zep, Sabbath and AC/DC are our roots. But you’ll find influences from GnR, Metallica, Nirvana, Godsmack & System…. And, from time to time, some Stevie Ray Vaughn and some southern rock, too.
And with that in mind, do you try to aim/stick to a particular musical direction when writing new material? ( I guess what I’m trying to get at is if someone came up with some heavier or even some mellower ideas, would they be set aside as non-workable tracks for the band?)
Yeah, I guess we do—but mostly unconsciously. But, the truth is, we are still evolving, so there is plenty of room to experiment—in degrees, of course. I mean, we are not going to start writing happy pop songs or write a death metal album.
What does the tour schedule look like? I saw on the website that you mainly play only in your area. That being New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania,
Delaware and D.C. Any talks in the works for a more broader/national tour?
We are working on getting some mid-western dates in the mix for the beginning of the new year. Also, we’ll be branching out further south. Do we want to tour nationally? Hell yes and we’re actively looking for a tour that makes sense for us.
I also read on the bio sheet that you guys had the opportunity to play the Popkomm Festival in Berlin, Germany. How did you get involved with that and how did it go? How well was the band received over there?
We were offered the opportunity to do Popkomm and of course we said yes. As it turns out, they told us that we were one of four North American bands chosen—so we felt pretty honored. The festival was great—well organized awesome venues and great sound. Everyone was very professional and we were treated well. It was a great start for us in Europe and we look forward to returning and doing more there.
Where would you like to see the band, say in the next five years?
Continuing to grow musically and moving forward. Writing, recording more CDs and touring.
You getting much airplay yet for the new album?
We got top adds in FMQB and CMJ as a start and got a good team working on our behalf on the radio angle. Right now the CD is mainly with metal radio—we’re thinking of expanding that in the new year to other formats.
Other than the website, where can you find your merchandise/CDS?
The new CD will shortly be available in stores regionally–I believe the game plan is to put it in stores in the northeast and then, branch out. And, of course, we have CDs and merchandise available at every live show.
Anything you’d like to add?
Our website and myspace sites both have links to buy merchandise and CDs. You can also get the new CD on Screaming Ferret Wreckords’ site at www.screamingferret.com.